BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao on Saturday slammed the Maharashtra government over trying to challenge the transfer of Bhima Koregaon case to the NIA. Calling it a 'Maha-milavati gathbandhan', Rao said, "This is an adulterated alliance comprising of not only parties with different ideologies but also anti-national elements. The investigation against Bhima-Koregaon has clearly revealed a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister of this country, a plot to de-stabilize India."
He added, "It is a shame that a Shiv Sena-like coalition in Maharashtra comprising parties like the Congress and NCP are working to protect elements that are a threat to India's national security."
The BJP leader said, "It is in the fitness of things that the NIA has taken over the entire investigation. By trying to challenge this in the Court, they will only be exposing its own alliance with anti-national elements. We certainly do not expect for them to get any relief because the NIA Act allows the Central government to take cases under the umbrella of NIA in the issues involving national security."
A day after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar held a review meeting with Pune police on the Bhima-Koregaon case, the NIA took over the probe. Deshmukh condemned the move and said that the transfer happened without the state government's consent.
Violence had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018, where supporters had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. This resulted in the death of one person and leaving several injured.
On December 18, last year, the police had framed draft charges against the 19 accused including the nine activists - Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao. The charges included 'conspiracy to assassinate PM Narendra Modi', 'overthrow the government', and 'waging war against the Government of India' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The charges also stated that some arrested persons are active members of the banned CPI party.